Books: January 2019

Walking on Water by Madeline L’Engle

This book was gifted to me by a dear friend, and it is a treasure.  I found myself pausing and re-reading paragraphs over and over again because of the profundity.  I could have highlighted the entire book.  I was a bit overwhelmed by the insight, and it seemed as though L’Engle was speaking directly to me.  L’Engle’s thoughts on faith and art (spoiler: they can’t be separate) were divinely inspired.  This book immediately went on the “Books I Will Re-Read Every Year” list.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Ok, I’ll admit that it was the title of this book that initially hooked me.  I had purchased this the Kindle version several months ago, but also bought a hard copy when we were in the Newark, New Jersey airport waiting for a flight home.  You have to admit, it’s a catchy title.  Sincero is a no-nonsense author that tells it like it is (which I like) but may be offensive to some (especially her language.)  Personally, I need the smack on the head once in a while to remind me of my potential.  This book is similar to every other “self-helpery” (Sincero’s word, not mine) book I’ve ever read. Sincero admits the concepts are not new, but maybe hearing it in her straightforward style will make the difference.  I think she’s right.

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

This interesting little book is about eating well (how and what.)  It is broken up into small, quick-read chapters.  (A style that I particularly love.)  It’s a great way to get small bits of motivation and insight with just a few minutes of investment in time.  I consider books like this as a reference.  After reading once, I will pull off the shelf and leaf through occasionally.  (Most of the books I read are Kindle versions, but in this style, I prefer a hard copy to leave on  the bookshelf.)

Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod

This book is part of a series (I also purchased Miracle Morning for Salespeople for Leroy) of motivational/self-help books.  The first half of the book is the same; how to set up a morning routine that will kick-start your motivation and focus for the rest of the day.  The second half of the book is specific to the topics (writing for me and sales for Leroy.)  I really liked this book.  Although we have a well-established morning routine (which I am happy to report is very similar to the S.A.V.E.R.S. routine in this book), I was able to glean some insight regarding writing habits and publishing ideas.  

You Are a Badass Everyday by Jen Sincero

This book is similar to the “Food Rules” book I mentioned above. It is filled with brief, essay style ideas and motivation that reiterate the lessons in the original book You Are A Badass.  One brief chapter of this book is read each and every morning.  (At least until we find a different and/or better daily read.)

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

This book was recommended in one of the “One Little Word” groups that I follow on Facebook.  My word for 2019 is "less," and one of the members of the group suggested this book for anyone working with the word.  I loved it!  McKeown spends a lot of time granting permission to remove the excess to make room for the abundance in all aspects of life.  Much of the book is focused on Essentialism at work, but all of the theories, suggestions, and techniques easily translate to every-day life.  (I found myself marking chapters for Leroy to read regarding his career.)  I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels called to minimize the excess in any area of their life.

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

This book is another annual re-read for me.  As a matter of fact, I feel foolish for not reading it before I was 50 years old.  I think it could probably be considered the grandfather of self-help books.  It was another book that I felt I needed to highlight every word on the page.  It’s very short and should be required, annual reading for any high-school or college student.

Savor by Thich Nhat Hahn and Lilian Cheung

For the last 18 months, Leroy and I have been working on the concept of mindful eating, and I’ve read many different books and articles on the subject, but this book is my favorite.  The wisdom of Thich Nhat Hahn is profound and yet simple at the same time.  If you’re looking for some insight into your eating habits (and how to change them), this book is for you